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Dream11 IPL 2020: Week 1 Recap: Emerging Trends

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With 8 matches completed in Week 1, the new normal has translated to newer cricketing strategies as unexpected trends emerge in the UAE.

Watch the Dream11 IPL2020 live with full match replays and highlights on Hotstar.

High Score Just Got Higher

Before the season began, pundits had predicted a low scoring season, with the average score hovering around the 150-160 mark. The first 8 matches have already quashed that myth with an average first innings score of 177. A lot of this has to do with the extra grass been left on the pitches – with all matches taking place across three venues, the organizers would’ve anticipated pitches slowing over the course of the season – but environmental factors such as breeze, humidity and boundary lengths have also been responsible for the surge in first innings score. Undoubtedly, having the likes of Samson, Rohit or Rahul unleash themselves does play a role in it too.

Choking In The Chase

Teams winning the toss have largely elected to field first – the last season had captains electing this choice in 8 out of 10 games – but have ended up winning on only one occasion, in the IPL opener. That decision proved to be a red herring, as CSK themselves have borne the brunt of miscalculating two chases and taking it too deep, only to not have the firepower to finish the job. While KKR were poor in their first game, DC and RCB managed to choke KXIP and SRH to win from the jaws of defeat. The pitches have got slower under lights, the sapping humidity has proved taxing, and the final flourish seen so often last season has rarely arrived.

Pace Over Spin

Before the season began, many gave CSK a real chance because of a strong spin lineup. However, their spinners, along with spinners of other teams, have gone the journey, with batsmen being able to line them up and dispatch them to the shorter straight boundaries. Certain leg spinners – most notably Bishnoi, Chahal and Tewatia – have impressed, but the offies continue to be pulverized. It is pace, especially hit-the-deck pace, that has been the success mantra, with Rabada, Shami, Pattinson, Nortje and Archer all shining. Swing has been practically non-existent, but slower balls and bouncers have worked at the death.

Bizarre Selection And Strategies

While poor selection can be attributed to pre-season rustiness, on-field cricketing strategies have seen teams revert to bad habits of the past. MI, KKR and CSK keeping Pollard, Russell and Dhoni too low in the order, SRH’s wafer thin middle order getting exposed again, and CSK, SRH and RCB’s decisions to keep men-in-form Tahir, Nabi and Moeen out of the playing XI for their opening game have baffled many. The most bizarre tactics have come from CSK, who have miscalculated two chases on the trot, while SRH and RCB have had déjà vu matches from their 2019 season.

Young Bloods Hit The Ground Running

There was pre-season conjecture on the rustiness of the players coming into the season, but the youngsters have shaken it off and taken the IPL by storm. Devdutt Padikkal hit a 50 on debut, Ravi Bishnoi had a three-for, Rahul Chahar has been effective and Gill has impressed in bursts. Even as experienced campaigners in Rabada, Shami, KL Rahul, Rohit and du Plessis have looked on song, almost every team – including CSK, who, despite having the oldest team by average age, have discovered a new MVP in Sam Curran – has relied on their youngsters to win. For context, Sanju Samson, who smashed one of the finest IPL fifties of all time against CSK, is only 25 years old.

Watch the Dream11 IPL2020 live with full match replays and highlights on Hotstar.

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